Long time, no speak.

This morning, the topic of my blog came up in a conversation with my parents. I immediately googled “marmite to maple” to see when the last time I updated this thing was, and its been over a year since I posted anything. Landing on the home page was a strange experience; I barely recognized it as my own and felt more like an outsider stumbling across some else’s site. The blog was a huge part of my life when I first moved to Canada, and provided me with some much-needed consistency through my early months and years here. Unexpectedly, it also helped me meet a lot of people, and coffee chats or drinks with fellow Brits abroad were quite common for a while. Then as time went on, I realized that the original purpose of my blog was no longer relevant. I started it to keep in touch with friends and family back home, and to share advice for others thinking about moving to Canada. Almost eight years later, I’ve run out of ‘new Canadian things’ to post about and my experiences moving to Vancouver are now very much out of date. So, what now?

I’m not sure at this point which direction this post is going, other than that so far I’m writing about how I don’t know what to write about. Does anyone even read this anymore? I know Karl’s Mum does. Hi Karl’s Mum! Other than that, is anyone alive out there? In the blogosphere, no one can hear you scream. Anyway, moving on…

Let’s start with where the time has gone. 2017 was a big year, and part of my failure to blog is just down to lack of time. I  got married, hosted family and friends from across the world in Vancouver, went on an amazing honeymoon, applied for Canadian citizenship, celebrated ten years with the now-husband, turned 30 and spent my first Christmas with my parents in five years. Actually, that all happened in the final four months of the year, but there was a lot of planning leading up to it all. I guess I should share some photos with you (whoever “you” are), so here you go!

And then all of a sudden it was 2018. Another big year and one that I’m really excited about. I’m maximizing my 15 days of vacation to travel to three new places: Copenhagen at the end of May for what is going to be an amazing wedding (with whistle-stop UK tour en-route), Australia in September to visit the bestie who left Vancouver in January for a year of sunshine and surf (sad times…but I get to visit her, yay!) and Calgary, Banff, Canmore and the rest of those damn beautiful Rocky Mountains in October for my brother’s wedding! The latter has been on my Canadian bucket list ever since moving here and we just never quite got round to it, so I’m forever grateful to my brother and his fiancee for choosing such an amazing place to get married. Thank you! We’re also going to squeeze in a long weekend  in Cannon Beach in the summer, because that’s what we do and I really missed not being there last summer (damn wedding).

The other big thing happening this year is that I will officially become a Canadian citizen! The husband and I applied pretty much as soon as we were eligible at the end of August 2017, wrote our citizenship test in January 2018 (We both nailed it with 20/20, but that’s a whole other blog post) and just this week got our notification of our ceremony in March. In 27 days, we’ll be standing in a boardroom with a bunch of other newbs swearing an oath to the Queen and singing O Canada in English and French. Ooh la la! Three business days later, we’ll be applying for our shiny blue Canadian passports aka everlasting freedom from US visa waivers. (There’s a sarcastic comment about blue passports floating here somewhere, but I’m not sure what it is. The right blue passport? Blue passports seem to be trending? Year of the blue passport?) It will be a huge milestone for us and one that I definitely didn’t see coming when I rocked up to Vancouver for a working holiday in January 2017.

Tying in with the citizenship thing, I’m also in the process of changing my last name to the husband’s so that said shiny new passport will include my shiny new name. For some reason, a lot of people have a lot of opinions about my decision to change my name (mostly negative ones), but its 2018 and I’ll do what I want. So that’ll be something different.

Maybe I’ll leave it there for today. I will write a post at some point about the Canadian citizenship process as a lot of people are going through it now the rules have changed and it’s the one piece of knowledge I have that’s actually timely and relevant. Until then, enjoy your burrito y’all.

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About MarmitetoMaple

I'm originally from the UK and have been working and living the dream in Vancouver, BC, since January 2011. I am a firm believer in travel, good cheese, volunteering and community engagement.

9 responses to “Long time, no speak.”

  1. DJ Baird says :

    I’m still a faithful reader! Although, I do get an email when you post so it’s not like I’m a super fan or anything. Plus it’s pretty easy to follow a blog that only posts once per year…

    But it is nice to read about Vancouver happenings and reminisce about when I used to live there. I just moved to Seattle a few months ago, so a weekend trip to Vancouver is on the cards at some point for sure. I bet it’s changed a bit since I left, even though it was only 5 or so years ago. (“Only” – 5 years is an eternity I now realise.)

    Anyway, you’ve reminded me that I need to get back to posting on my own blog. It’s hard to get back in the habit though!

    • MarmitetoMaple says :

      Hii! Glad to see my goal of being 2017’s easiest blog to follow by limiting content has paid off! 😉

      Awesome that you’re in Seattle now, welcome back to the PNW. It took me a few trips there over the years to get outside of Pike Place Market and see what the fuss is all about, and now I love it there! Hope to see some more Seattle-based posts from you too!

  2. Louise says :

    Hi there, I’m actually very new to your blog having just stumbled across it in a google search. It’s a really lovely blog, and very useful for people like my boyfriend and I who are moving from London to Toronto as permanent residents this summer. It’s a comfort to know that someone’s been there and done it, and in the meantime had a great time successfully starting a new life.

    I noticed that you work in the charity sector in Vancouver (both myself and my partner work for charities in London and hope to do so in Toronto). However, there doesn’t seem to be much info about UK expat experiences finding and having jobs in this sector. I just wondered therefore if you had any tips when applying for not-for-profit roles in Canada, or in general what your experience working in this sector has been like having not originally been a citizen of Canada – although obviously not now from the above post, congrats!

    Thanks in advance for your time!

    • MarmitetoMaple says :

      Hi Louise, thanks for reading, and for your comment! Congrats to you and your boyfriend on the move, so exciting! I still haven’t been to Toronto (Canada is just so big!) but it’s on the list and I’ve heard great things from other Brits who live there. Get ready to shovel that snow in the winter! Yes I do work in the charity sector and would be happy to share some of my experiences with you. I’ll shoot you an email this week. Thanks again and good luck with the planning over the next few months 🙂

  3. Matt says :

    Hi! I still read your blog, though Google tells me the last time I was on here was back in october.

    I don’t think I’ve ever posted a reply but I moved to Vancouver at a similar time to you (complicated really, but simply I moved full time in October 2011, got pr in early 2014, applied for citizenship in December 2017). It’s been good to read your blog just to get confirmation that things are just going normal, you know?

    I live in Victoria now, own my own condo (well I own the bank a lot of money) and my life is going to be here for the foreseeable future. If you ever get a decent job offer to move, remember that the pubs are much better than Vancouver, and it rains a whole lot less.

    Good luck with the blog, whatever direction you take it.

    • MarmitetoMaple says :

      Hey Matt, thanks for saying hi, and for your readership! That’s awesome that we’ve had a similar journey in Canada and great to hear that BC is now home for you too. I do love Victoria though it’s been a while since my last visit. I remember good pubs and great brunch! Best of luck with your citizenship application 🙂

  4. Gemma says :

    Just thought I’d check today to see if you had updated and hey, you have! Congratulations on all of your exciting news from 2017! I just took the citizenship test myself last week (20/20 too, high five!) and have been given the estimate of 3-6 months for my ceremony. Yours must have just happened or is happening soon! Either way, congrats again.

    • MarmitetoMaple says :

      Hey Gemma, great timing! Yes, our ceremony was last Friday, woohoo! A blog post is on the way about that, but it went great. Congrats on your test results too! Our 3-6 month wait ended up only being 2.5 months (even with the husband having to do additional fingerprinting) and a friend of mine did the test on March 8 and got a ceremony date this week for end of April, so fingers crossed it’ll move quickly now! Hope all is well with you both and you’re enjoying life on the road!

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